Yes you can. SLA is nothing but a field that show the time elapsed. You can always create a scripted field using Script Runner plugin to auto calculate a field.
The JIRA Service Desk offers creating more SLAs easily and there are reports that help team take better decisions, but if you just want to have a field that displays the time between two events, then you can do it without JIRA Service Desk too.
Actually SLA is a bit more complex if you have to allow for frozen mode, changing the SLA and applying it to active issues, searching on breached/non breached.
I've been working with a customer who is writing their own SLA add-on and it's not as straightforward as it seems
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